Calgary-born, Toronto-based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through the use of painting, sculpture, printmaking, video and performance. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and Europe.
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Kayla Polan (b. 1994, Calgary)
2018-2020 Masters of Fine Art, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
2012-2016 Bachelor of Fine Art, Distinction, Major Drawing & Painting, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2014-2015 Florence Off-Campus Studies Program, OCAD University, Florence, Italy
AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS
2019 Keith and Win Shantz International Research Scholarship, Keith and Win Shantz & University of Waterloo
2018 President's Graduate Scholarship (PGS), University of Waterloo
2018 Untapped Emerging Artist Award, The Artist Project
2017 Emerging Artist Residency Award, Spark Box Studio
2016 Anne Adler Kagan Award, OCAD University
2014 Aboveground Art Supplies Scholarship, OCAD University
2014 Sandy McQueen Memorial Scholarship, OCAD University
2013 Melville P. White Scholarship, OCAD University
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018 Mental Health, The White House Studio Project, Curated by Lauren Fournier, Toronto, ON - forthcoming in July 2018
2018 LA Summer Artist Residency Open Studio, OTIS College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California, USA
2018 Odourant, Screening & Residency Open Studio, Struts and Faucet Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB
2018 Hart House Review Launch, Screening of Bruise/Heal, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
2018 Romance For Two: Key To My Heart or Unlockable Shackles?, Akin Vitrine Gallery, Solo Show, Toronto, ON
2017 X, Y & Zed, Featured Exhibition of Nuit Blanche, Glory Hole Gallery, Toronto, ON
2017 Fermenting Feminism, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Curated by Lauren Fournier, Toronto, ON
2017 YYZ Lab Residency Open House, YYZ Artist's Outlet, Toronto, ON
2017 Works For Change, Screening & Exhibition of "This Art Works" by the Madeleine Co., Featured Artist in Episode 1, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
2017 Vacancy, Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container, Featured Exhibition for Nuit Rose Festival, Toronto, ON
2017 Embodied Resistance, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 Political Candy, The Pendulum Project, Studio 223A, Toronto, ON
2016 Feminist Art Conference Residency Open Studio, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto ON
2016 GradEx, 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 Festival of the Body, Annual Figure Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2016 Love Me Do, Yellow House Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015 40, i nuovo 20 (Forties Are the New Twenties), OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2015 Nuit Rose, A Festival of Queer Art & Performance, The 519, Toronto, ON
2015 Prospettiva, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy
2015 B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Beamer), Florence, Italy
2015 Art Clash, California State University International Program, Florence, Italy
2018 Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California, United States
2018 Struts and Faucet Gallery and Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB
2017 Emerging Artist Award Residency, Spark Box Studio, Picton, ON
2016-17 YYZ LAB Artist Residency, YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, ON
2016 Feminist Art Conference Residency, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, ON
2016 Nomadic Residency with Ryan Gander, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
ART FAIRS & AUCTIONS
2018 The Artist Project, Better Living Centre Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON
2017 2/e Edition Art Book Fair, Represented by Bunker 2, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON
2016 GAL's Third Annual Auction, Girls Art League Art, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, ON
2016 Art Attack! Annual Auction, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, ON
TALKS & PANELS
2018 Mad-Positive, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, White House Studio Project, Toronto, ON - forthcoming in July 2018
2018 Feminism, A Label Slapped on Consumer Goods, Lecture & Artist Talk, Struts & Faucet Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB
2017 Tools, Toys, and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016 We Are What We Fear: On WW2 Germany & the Systematic Oppression of Identity, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2014 Research as Practice, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2017 Faculty of Art, Class Assistant, Project Lead on Yorkville Village Arts Festival, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2017 In-House Graphic Designer, Blitz Print Lab, Toronto, ON
2016-18 Gallery Programming Committee Member, Lakeshore Arts, Toronto, ON
2016 Artist Assistant, Rebecca Belmore, Nuit Blanche, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2016-18 Artist Assistant, Jennie Suddick, MFA, Toronto, ON
2016 Museum Attendant, Crazy Dames Exhibition, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
2016 Events and Community Outreach, Feminist Art Conference, Toronto, ON
2018 Hart House Review, Canadian Literary Journal. Hart House, University of Toronto. 8 April 2018. Print.
2017 Canadian Art, “Must-Sees This Week: September 14 to 20, 2017", 2017
2017 CBC Arts. “Artist Asks the Important Questions” 13 September 2017. Web.
2017 Unframed NY, “Interview with Kayla Polan”, 2017
2017 Format Magazine, “20 Contemporary Painters With Gallery-Worthy Portfolios”, 2017
2017 CBC Arts, “This Art Works! ‘Doctors Against Intolerance’ and Normalizing BDSM with Sculptures”, 2017
2017 The Drake Blog, “Studio Visit With Akin Artist Kayla Polan", 2017
2017 Discount Magazine, Issue II, Food Edition, 2017
2017 Milkweed Zine, Issue III, Privacy and Visibility Issue, 2017
2017 Dirty Laundry, “50 Shades of Kayla Polan”, 2017
2016 Off the Wall Artists, “Off the Wall With Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016 The Pendulum Project, “A Conversation with Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016 OCAD University, Seek Forward, Drawing & Painting Fourth Year Catalogue, 2016
Kayla will be exhibiting her recent work, "Who Wants to be a Mental Health Millionaire" at The White House Studio Project's Mental Health show in June 2018, curated by Lauren Fournier. This exhibition is organized as per the White House Studio Project's In Space program, a five month thematic exhibition and panel series. The exhibition will be opening on Friday, July 27th at 6pm.
Kayla will be speaking in a roundtable discussion on the topic of mental health on Thursday July 26th from 1-3pm at the Artists Health Alliance (1000 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON), as part of the White House Studio Project's In Space program.
Kayla is participated in the LA Summer Artist Residency at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA in June 2018. OTIS held an Open Studio to exhibit the works of the residents.
Kayla's work was featured in the 2018 Hart House Review. Kayla's video performance Bruise/Heal will be screened the launch party on April 8th at the Hart House, University of Toronto.
Kayla recently finished a five-week residency in April/May 2018 at Struts and Faucet Media Arts Centre in Sackville, NB. Kayla did a lecture & artist talk entitled "Feminism, A Label Slapped on Consumer Goods," and a screening of her new video performance work "Odourant."
Kayla exhibited her new sculpture work Romance for Two: Key to My Heart or Unlockable Shackles? at the Akin Vitrine Gallery in March 2018.
Kayla exhibited her work at The Artist Project in February 2018 as part of the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition.
Kayla's painting "6 Tips on DIY Pickling & Other Cleaning Conundrums" was exhibited at Fermenting Feminism at Critical Distance Centre for Curators in November 2017. Fermenting Feminism was named a Must-See show by Canadian Art. A publication about the show, including an interview with Kayla, will be released following the show.
Kayla's print series "Always You!" was debuted at 2/Edition, the Toronto International Art Book Fair, at both the Bunker2 and Akin Collective tables.
The Madeleine Collective featured Kayla's work in Episode 1 of their series "This Art Works", in partnership with CBC Arts & OCAD University.